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Space Science

Study Estimates 100 Billion Planets In the Milky Way Galaxy 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-neighborhood dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "A new study finds that there may be 100 billion alien planets in the Milky Way alone, with 17 billion of them the size of Earth. Announcements like this have been made before, but this new research is more robust than previous studies, using data from the Kepler planet-hunting spacecraft over a longer period and analyzing it in a more statistically solid way (PDF). They also found that smaller planets are not as picky about their host stars, with terrestrial planets forming around stars like the Sun or as small as tiny, cool red dwarfs with equal ease."
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Study Estimates 100 Billion Planets In the Milky Way Galaxy

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  • it is still a guess (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:35PM (#42510407)

    The Keppler field of view is only a couple of thousands lightyear deep. That means the results are based on our neck of the woods only. Now, it may be ok to assume that other outskirts of the Milky Way are similar, but there is no reason to assume the same applies for the center of the galaxy, where most of the stars are, very closely packed.

  • by peragrin (659227) on Monday January 07, 2013 @07:10PM (#42511771)

    17 billion earth sized. .1% suitable for life as we know it.

    that's 17 million possible habitable worlds.

    If we are alone that seems like an awful lot of wasted space.

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